Samlex inverters

JESSICAJESSICA Solar Expert Posts: 289 ✭✭
I would like to know your opinions regarding SAMLEX pure sine inverters.
I would appreciate, whenever possible, opinions based on actual experience with them.

Thanks.
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Comments

  • RandomJoeRandomJoe Solar Expert Posts: 472 ✭✭✭
    Re: Samlex inverters

    I have two - a 300W (PST-30S-12A) and a 1500W (PST-150S-12A). Not much to say - they do exactly what they are supposed to, work just fine. At this point I don't give them a whole lot of use, the 300W is my portable unit to take wherever needed - house, car, outside. The 1500W is primarily intended for emergency backup, to run the fridge (waaay oversize, except for the 1100W inrush when the fridge starts).

    I'm hoping to eventually / soon be using at least the 1500W on a daily basis for "opportunity loads". In that capacity, the only drawback to this model is that it doesn't have a lower-power "search" mode - it is either on or off by the switch.
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 28,633 admin
    Re: Samlex inverters
    RandomJoe wrote: »
    ...the only drawback to this model is that it doesn't have a lower-power "search" mode - it is either on or off by the switch.

    As RandomJoe says--Figuring the No Load, Standby/Search Load, and Inhibit Output loads of the inverter vs the size of your system is very important.

    If you want to be able to "turn" on a light switch at night and want AC power--then the Search or Inhibit functions are pretty nice. Otherwise your choice is turn off DC power or waste some 6-8 watts (typical) 24x7 as the inverter waits for a "real" load:
    • 6 watts * 24 hours = 144 Watt*Hours
    About 70-140 watts of solar panel "burned up" for stand by power in winter.

    Depends on your needs if this will be an issue or not.

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • JESSICAJESSICA Solar Expert Posts: 289 ✭✭
    Re: Samlex inverters
    BB. wrote: »
    About 70-140 watts of solar panel "burned up" for stand by power in winter.

    Depends on your needs if this will be an issue or not.

    -Bill

    For me, it is not an issue.
    I have had two Exeltechs; both failed within a year. Hence, I am just looking for a RELIABLE and inexpensive unit.
    So, I just want to know if Samlex inverters are reliable and long-lasting.

    Thanks for your advise.
  • RandomJoeRandomJoe Solar Expert Posts: 472 ✭✭✭
    Re: Samlex inverters

    I've never had an Exeltech, but from what I know and have heard about them, I'd be wondering what's causing your inverters to die before just buying another. Those things are supposed to be darn near bullet-proof.
  • JESSICAJESSICA Solar Expert Posts: 289 ✭✭
    Re: Samlex inverters
    RandomJoe wrote: »
    I've never had an Exeltech, but from what I know and have heard about them, I'd be wondering what's causing your inverters to die before just buying another. Those things are supposed to be darn near bullet-proof.

    Joe:

    Not everything we read or hear is true.
    There is nothing wrong with my system.
    The first Exeltech failed because it was defective from the factory. It was (so they said) repaired by Exeltech, and lasted 2 HOURS! They send a replacement unit which was a refurbished unit. It lasted one year. (It died last week.)
    So, they are not as good as they say.
    [The "fact" that you can ride a military tank over them tell us nothing about their electrical reliability...!]
  • DapdanDapdan Solar Expert Posts: 313 ✭✭
    Re: Samlex inverters

    Hey Jessica,

    I was looking at the samlex myself because the price was good for a PSW unit. I almost bought one as well, that is until I found an even cheaper PSW unit made by Xantrex. It was only release mid last year and I have been using it 24/7 for about 3-4months now with no problems. It is the xantrex prowatt sw it is rated at 1000w surging to 2000w and is a 12v machine. It has a built in usb charger and come with a digital display showing battery voltage and power output. It is a pretty sweet machine at the price of $235. I have since bought another one since the price was so good. Google it like I did and you should find a retailer online like I did. I have used it run an ac window unit, computers, ceiling fans with no problem. Works like a dream and very quiet fan operation. Sometimes I dont even hear the fan when it is on. It has two small fans one pushes and the other pulls.

    There is also a 600w unit surging to 1000w that retails for $134. Pretty sweet price, I am planing on buying one of these as well.

    Cheers...
    Damani
  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,311 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Samlex inverters

    sorry to hear of this continuing saga with exeltech. i thought you were going to go with another inverter manufacturer before if memory serves me. did the 2nd one do the same as the first and did you try putting the new mosfets into it that you ordered long ago to see if that will cure it? in fact is this one still under warranty yet?
  • JESSICAJESSICA Solar Expert Posts: 289 ✭✭
    Re: Samlex inverters
    niel wrote: »
    sorry to hear of this continuing saga with exeltech. i thought you were going to go with another inverter manufacturer before if memory serves me. did the 2nd one do the same as the first and did you try putting the new mosfets into it that you ordered long ago to see if that will cure it? in fact is this one still under warranty yet?

    Dadpan: Thanks for the advise; I will take a look at that Xantrex (though I think I prefer a more powerfull unit, around 1,500 to 2,000 watts)

    Niel:

    Yes, I wanted an Outback FX2425, but I did not (and do not) have the $2k that it cost.
    The second unit (which I call "the loaner" because it remainded me of the old car Jim Carey was given in the movie "The Mask") came with no warranty. (Please remember: My first unit failed just one week after the warranty expired.) Thus, it was a gift, and... well... I guess I had no right to complain.
    This second unit just stop producing power. I took it to an ammateur technician (my friend who loaned me the msw Aims) and he has told me that there is no evident cause for the failure, and that everything seems right (?!).
    The point is, I don't want any more Exeltechs.

    Thanks for your interest and advice.

    P.S. The mosfets seem to be fine.
  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,311 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Samlex inverters

    very odd. did the tech say what might be the cause? you have nothing to lose at this point by digging into it.
  • DapdanDapdan Solar Expert Posts: 313 ✭✭
    edited December 2018 #11
    Re: Samlex inverters

    Hey J,

    The Xantrex prowatt sw also comes in a 2000w, 3000w surge model as well for a nifty price of around $350 so you can check that out as well. To confirm that model comes in a 600w, 1000w and 2000w model.

    CHeers...
    Damani
  • JESSICAJESSICA Solar Expert Posts: 289 ✭✭
    edited December 2018 #12
    Re: Samlex inverters
    Dapdan wrote: »
    Hey J,

    The Xantrex prowatt sw also comes in a 2000w, 3000w surge model as well for a nifty price of around $350 so you can check that out as well. To confirm that model comes in a 600w, 1000w and 2000w model.

    CHeers...
    Damani

    Damani:

    Xantrex prowatt seems to be modified wave. If I am wrong, please correct me.

    Niel:

    I took the unit to a repair shop, but, as usual, 3 or 4 weeks will pass before they even touch the inverter.
  • DapdanDapdan Solar Expert Posts: 313 ✭✭
    Re: Samlex inverters

    J,

    it is a pure sine wave machine. I have two one in use and one still in the box as a back up. The unit is named Prowatt SW(sine wave). I have read all of the manual and the print on the packaging it self say it is a pure sine wave machine. It runs my ceiling fan with out humming and all the other nice things a PSW inverter is capable of.

    CHeers....
    Damani
  • GreenerPowerGreenerPower Solar Expert Posts: 264 ✭✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Samlex inverters
    JESSICA wrote: »
    ...though I think I prefer a more powerfull unit, around 1,500 to 2,000 watts
    ... I wanted an Outback FX2425, but I did not (and do not) have the $2k that it cost.
    You have seen this thread. That unit seems well built and reasonably priced. 2 persons on this board purchased it. Hopefully it has been run for sometime. Haven't heard their feedbacks. Hopefully it's good.
    GP
  • JESSICAJESSICA Solar Expert Posts: 289 ✭✭
    Re: Samlex inverters
    You have seen this thread. That unit seems well built and reasonably priced. 2 persons on this board purchased it. Hopefully it has been run for sometime. Haven't heard their feedbacks. Hopefully it's good.
    GP

    GreenerPower:

    Yes, obviously I had seen the thread. But sadly, as you said, there have been no feedbacks, and that's the reason I started the present thread, to know if samlex are any good and reliable in actual experience. After my problems with exeltech, I just don't "hope" any longer; I prefer the facts.

    Dapdan:

    I stand corrected; they are psw. The only thing is I would have to re-wire my system, because those units are 12v and my system is 24v. They seem to be nice machines, though.

    Thanks again.
  • nigtomdawnigtomdaw Solar Expert Posts: 705 ✭✭
    Re: Samlex inverters

    My expierence of fitting a Euro Spec Samelx S Series was not good, lasted a hour b4 going pop, got the feeling that I was being used as a guinea pig, there had been faults on the MK1 model I had the MK2 apparently, the guy from Samlex Europe was also a bit peeved, after I described how it failed, sent pictures of the internals, five popped fets he refunded my money and didnt even want the unit returning, apparently the MK2 had same failure as Mk1, costing me time and money, as well as the Euro distributor apparently there is a MK3 on the way with improved standby figures and a new digital display, but Ill wait till the life expectancy improves beyond 20 minutes for faults to show, then at 60 minutes the smoke escapes. Testing is done in the lab, then alpha and finally beta testers not customers. :grr
  • JESSICAJESSICA Solar Expert Posts: 289 ✭✭
    Re: Samlex inverters
    nigtomdaw wrote: »
    My expierence of fitting a Euro Spec Samelx S Series was not good, lasted a hour b4 going pop, got the feeling that I was being used as a guinea pig, there had been faults on the MK1 model I had the MK2 apparently, the guy from Samlex Europe was also a bit peeved, after I described how it failed, sent pictures of the internals, five popped fets he refunded my money and didnt even want the unit returning, apparently the MK2 had same failure as Mk1, costing me time and money, as well as the Euro distributor apparently there is a MK3 on the way with improved standby figures and a new digital display, but Ill wait till the life expectancy improves beyond 20 minutes for faults to show, then at 60 minutes the smoke escapes. Testing is done in the lab, then alpha and finally beta testers not customers. :grr

    OUCH!

    Ok, can someone just recommend a pure sine, 24v, 1,500 - 2,000 watts inverter that does not cost more than $1K, and is good and reliable?
  • DapdanDapdan Solar Expert Posts: 313 ✭✭
    Re: Samlex inverters

    Hey J,

    If you noticed my sig, I have been using a Go Power 1500w/24v pure sine wave since sep 08 24/7 and have had no problems with it since. I run my entire house using this inverter sidebyside fridge, comps, big screen tv, toasters, toaster ovens, ceiling fans, cfl the whole works all my appliances still work flawless nearly 18months later. I bought it for $600 back then but I have seen the price drop to about $450 right now. I bought it online from an rv store, google and you should find the best price like I did. I can swear by it to date it has work flawless. Therefore I can recommend the following:

    img50.jpg

    Cheers...
    Damani
  • JESSICAJESSICA Solar Expert Posts: 289 ✭✭
    Re: Samlex inverters
    Dapdan wrote: »
    Hey J,

    If you noticed my sig, I have been using a Go Power 1500w/24v pure sine wave since sep 08 24/7 and have had no problems with it since. I run my entire house using this inverter sidebyside fridge, comps, big screen tv, toasters, toaster ovens, ceiling fans, cfl the whole works all my appliances still work flawless nearly 18months later. I bought it for $600 back then but I have seen the price drop to about $450 right now. I bought it online from an rv store, google and you should find the best price like I did. I can swear by it to date it has work flawless. Therefore I can recommend the following:

    img50.jpg

    Cheers...
    Damani

    Now we are cooking!
    I have heard about that brand; I think they are from Canada (though probably made in China.); but I did not have any feedback on them.
    Thanks a lot, Damani.
    I will definitely consider it!
  • DapdanDapdan Solar Expert Posts: 313 ✭✭
    Re: Samlex inverters

    J,

    you are correct. They are designed in Canada and only you and I are probally the only things not made in China ;).

    Cheers...
    Damani
  • EarthandsolEarthandsol Registered Users Posts: 12
    Re: Samlex inverters

    I also looked at the Samlex inverters but was put off by the high idle current and non-existent U.S. support and repair infrastructure. j sorry about your experience with Exeltech - I have had nothing but fantastic service from my XP-1100 24 volt models- I have run an off the grid house for 7 years with these units- my only down time on these units are from lightning damage -which seems the only real shortfall of Exeltech inverters. I have upgraded my grounding system and added lightning arrestors now 3 total ( 2 dc and 1 ac) and so far( 18 mos ) so good. I also have installed 4 other small off-grid systems with Exeltech Xp-1100 inverters and have had only 2 incidents - 1 lightning strike ( in yr 2 of a 5 yr old system and one ant invasion( they built a nest inside a shut-off unit ) - in both cases Exeltech made repairs in a reasonable time ( 1-2 weeks) and for a flat $120 fee ( includes return shipping)- I now keep a spare inverter for me and my customers. As always your mileage may vary but considering Exeltech's long term U.S production ,support and repair -I expect them to be around a while
    Good Luck
    Chris
    P.s I am always in the market for used Exeltech inverters - working or non-working
  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,311 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Samlex inverters

    earthandsol,
    i assume that you fix them too so i'd be curious just what the major cause of failure is that you have found besides an internal fuse.
  • nigtomdawnigtomdaw Solar Expert Posts: 705 ✭✭
    Re: Samlex inverters

    A couple of pitures on the soon to die then dead Samlex S series Invercharge
  • JESSICAJESSICA Solar Expert Posts: 289 ✭✭
    Re: Samlex inverters
    Good Luck
    Chris
    P.s I am always in the market for used Exeltech inverters - working or non-working

    If you want it, I can sell you my first (non-working) unit. The second one is right now at the repair shop. That first unit was the one that failed after one year and a week, and was sent to Exeltech, which they supposedly fixed (for $100, plus shipping) but failed again within a few hours.
    If you are interested, please send me an email to: [email protected]
  • JESSICAJESSICA Solar Expert Posts: 289 ✭✭
    Re: Samlex inverters
    nigtomdaw wrote: »
    A couple of pitures on the soon to die then dead Samlex S series Invercharge

    nigtomdaw:

    What happened to the unit?
  • GreenerPowerGreenerPower Solar Expert Posts: 264 ✭✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Samlex inverters
    nigtomdaw wrote: »
    A couple of pitures on the soon to die then dead Samlex S series Invercharge
    Wow ! Those FETs are 55V, 110A, 175 degree-C. This European model seems to have a different lay out and the FET silscreen seems to be different than the one in the test report for a US model. Thanks for sharing your experience.
    GP
  • GreenerPowerGreenerPower Solar Expert Posts: 264 ✭✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Samlex inverters

    Jessica,

    You might want to ping this poster for his experience in using the S-2024 model.

    From this thread
    One thing for sure did happen, you have an invercharger, as itself explain, both process are controlled by a relay, when plugged to the generator and you are using the inverter as power supply, the relay is trying to do both functions at the same time, if you were watching tv. when this happen you should see the picture (on tv) shrinking and expanding very fast, this is the relay switching between inverting and charging, what you should have done was turned off as inverter and let it do the charge part of the cycle or if batteries are full do not plug it to generator, I was lucky that my Samlex S-2024A had a beeping device and I was close while watching tv., for some reason they built this inverchargers in a way that if is off as soon it detects 120v. in, after few secons it does comes on as a charger but while charging detects a 120v demand (out) it tries to switch as inverter....you do no see this happen when invercharger is new, after months of using it is more likely to happen....
    GP
  • EarthandsolEarthandsol Registered Users Posts: 12
    Re: Samlex inverters

    Niel,
    I do not repair my inverters -other than replacing the internal fuses-The only failures I have seen in Exeltech inverters were from lightning strikes - which melted various chips on the boards and from a unit which was shut off and was colonized by a nest of fire ants. I find them to be rugged and rather forgiving- My customers and I routinely overload them and run lots of heavy loads for hours.
    Chris
  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,311 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Samlex inverters

    earthandsol,
    then i am confused as to why you would be willing to buy non-working inverters.:confused:
  • JESSICAJESSICA Solar Expert Posts: 289 ✭✭
    Re: Samlex inverters
    Niel,
    I do not repair my inverters -other than replacing the internal fuses-The only failures I have seen in Exeltech inverters were from lightning strikes - which melted various chips on the boards and from a unit which was shut off and was colonized by a nest of fire ants. I find them to be rugged and rather forgiving- My customers and I routinely overload them and run lots of heavy loads for hours.
    Chris

    This piece of information may be useful (though everybody I have talked to beleive it is nonsense):

    I think that my second Exeltech (the unit that is right now at the repair shop) failed, I think, because a small roach entered to the unit. You see, I always turn off the inverter around 7 PM, and turn it on again around 6/7 AM. That morning three weeks ago, when I turned the unit on, a small roach entered it through the fan opening, and the inverter shut off for just a milisecond (the green light went off and then on in a fraction of a second). Then , there was no power, though everything seemed normal.

    All the persons I have told this have said that the roach itself could not have damage the inverter, except if it had defecated or unrinate on a sensitive part.

    Can anyone tell me his opinion?
  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,311 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Samlex inverters

    i think the next time you should place screening there to prevent insects from going in there. whether they caused the failure or not i can't say for sure, but they theoretically could cause overheating of some components if they block airflow. is it possible ants or cockroaches are large enough to do this? i don't know. i also don't know how conductive insect parts or excrements are.:cry: there is a sealed inverter version available from outback just to inform you of an option.
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